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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Witchcraft In the Church? Video Testimony

video


Before watching this video, I would like to make a quick introduction as to why I am posting it.
Several years ago, Jesus was truly doing a work in me. I desperately longed to please Him. I went to homeless shelters around town. I went to prison ministries. I started going into nursing homes. I didn't think that I was "special," I just had a desire to do the things that Jesus said to do in His Word.

Everywhere I went, there seemed to be desperate need. Often times, the homeless shelters would tell me how grateful they were because they didn't have many volunteers. One time I went to a homeless shelter, and the women were literally almost out of food. I thought to myself, where are all of the Christians? I began to notice huge churches and cathedrals on almost every street corner, hundreds of them...billions of dollars worth of infrastructure, while there were poor, oppressed people right under our noses. I began to notice that many religious leaders were getting rich, and the people would pour their income into "temples made with human hands" and making religious leaders rich. I began to question everything, and I truly feel as if Jesus began showing me what is wrong with the institution of religion.

Many people think or feel that questioning the religious system is the same as questioning God, but nothing could be further from the truth. I feel as if there are many people, both in and out of churches, that desperately need a relationship with Jesus. Jesus said that there would be many "who would have a form of godliness" but they don't know or understand the power of the Holy Spirit. He said that there would be those who "honor Him with their lips, but not with their hearts." I read the book, Pagan Christianity, which purports that most of what we are doing in our churches isn't even in the Bible. (hint: the biblical model for church can be found in the Book of Acts.) It challenged me, and I believe it to be true.

Posting stuff like this is hard. There were times when I felt completely alone. I even felt as if God were calling me to write some challenging things, but I was too afraid. I was scared that I was going to be rejected because my ways of thinking were different, but Jesus showed me that even He questioned and challenged the religious system of His day and I was called to the same.

I desperately love people. I love people of all religions. I love pastors and priests and those both in out of churches...that is why I have one request. Please respect my beliefs and my thoughts in the same way that I respect yours. My writing is meant to challenge people, to get people to look beyond their "traditions and man" and into the heart of Jesus, Himself.

If anyone disagrees with anything that I have to say, please do so lovingly or simply just don't read the things that I write. My goal is to write what I believe Jesus has shown me and not to be pleaser of man.

NOW ON TO THE VIDEO....

This video could be considered "controversial" but I encourage you to test all things. I read that there are actual witches infiltrating the body of Believers with the sole purpose of creating division. 

 Witchcraft is a form of manipulation and it often does not look obvious. It can be manifested by manipulating spiritual forces to get OUR will done.  It can also be through manipulation in order to get money.".In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed" 2 Peter 2:3This video details a very strange experience that led to this subject, as well as how God defines witchcraft in the Bible. Watch and discuss.
 The Bible says to test all things, so if I am wrong on anything, please let me know. I also encourage you to watch the witchcraft series by tictoc ministries on Youtube. It is Very thorough. I also recommend Youtube's fotm1 video, "Witchcraft in the church, oh yeah, lots! I will posts the videos at the end of this post.

Many people may thing that posts of this nature are "critical" of the "temple," but I want people to understand that Jesus wasn't cloaked in sunshine and rainbows. The Bible says that He didn't come to bring peace, but a sword,(Matthew 10:34) and when He saw the money changers buying and selling things in His Father's House, He drove them out with a whip.(Matthew 21:12)



More food for thought:
Have you ever been told that "If you give x amount of money, Jesus will bless you ten fold or one hundred fold?" It's not true.Who benefits from this kind of language? Many self proclaimed "men of God" have made themselves rich by telling you that if you give to "them" and "their ministry" that Jesus will bless you. However, Jesus tells us to give to those who have need, not out of fear or guilt but out of a generous heart.He tells us that in doing so, we store up treasure in Heaven. Jesus' goal is not to make us rich by "storing up treasure for ourselves on earth", but to make us Holy, carved into the image of His Son,Jesus Christ. 
Jesus tells us that the gifts of God cannot be bought with money. (Acts 8:20)

If anyone disagrees with me, please do so in kindness. I love you. 


Witchcraft in the church, Oh yeah, lots!


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Saturday, August 12, 2017

All is Vanity

"All is Vanity" by Charles Allen Gilbert


A few months ago, I bought a t-shirt,featuring the famous painting "All is Vanity," by Charles Allen Gilbert. I suppose there was a part of me that saw a spiritual truth in it's meaning. When I look at the painting, I am reminded of a verse in Ecclesiastes. "I have seen all the works that have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity, striving after wind. Similarly, I am reminded of a verse in Psalms, "Man is mere breath; His days are like a passing shadow."

According to People.com, Globally we spend 382 Billion dollars per year on the industry of beauty. I read another article that stated that America spent over 8 billion dollars last year on plastic surgery, alone. 
This post is not to judge or belittle anyone. In fact, I have been guilty of pouring more money than I care to admit on the pursuit of beauty. I don't wear makeup often, and yet I have tons of it just sitting in my bathroom, collecting dust. I have had a few micro needling procedures done to my face to minimize wrinkles. Did it work? Hmmm. That is debatable. It certainly wasn't cheap, and, in retrospect, I now wish that I used the money for things for my family or for "storing up treasure" in Heaven. 

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19

How much of our lives are devoted to eternal things and how much is devoted to "vanity," things that have zero eternal consequence and will ultimately pass away?

I keep thinking of the verse in 1 Peter that says,  Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

Many women, often those in ministry, like to flaunt their designer clothing, purses, and expensive jewelry. They boast that it is a sign of God's blessing. However, Jesus tells us in 1 Peter, that true beauty is a beauty that goes much deeper  than outward appearance. It is something lasting and eternal, and it comes from the heart. 

He even tells us in His Word, "He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with his income. This too is vanity." Ecclesiastes 5:10

Do you notice how many superstars, who seeming have everything, money, fame ,riches, and beauty, often strive to find happiness? Sadly, many end up ending their lives. It's because money and fame and beauty are not a means to joy. It is all vanity, chasing the wind. Joy is something that wells in the heart, and the famous, in their pursuit of it, don't know that it can be found in Christ Jesus.

Anyhow, this message is to remind you that you are beautiful. It is not a judgement. Simply, a reminder. Consider the following verse from Ephesians 2:10, For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.


Sidenote: There is nothing wrong with trying to look beautiful, however, it is important that the pursuit doesn't become idolotry. At one time, I was so obsessed with working out and looking good, that I allowed it to interfere with my walk with Jesus. I was barely praying or seeking because I was consumed with my own self interest. don't make the same mistake. All is vanity.

Signs of Spiritual Abuse in the Church


PLease note: this article was copied from http://libertyforcaptives.com (asked for writer permission) 

Ten Major Symptoms of Spiritual Abuse

Ten Symptoms of Spiritual Abuse
Sheep and Wolves, via Pinterest.
What is spiritual abuse?
I once linked to an excellent article by Mary DeMuth which talks about 10 Signs of Spiritual Abuse. But I have received enough emails and questions to warrant another, separate post covering other symptoms of spiritual abuse.
Jeff VanVonderen, co-author of the classic book The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, defines spiritual abuse like this:
“Spiritual abuse occurs when someone in a position of spiritual authority–the purpose of which is to ‘come underneath’ and serve, build, equip and make God’s people more free–misuses that authority by placing themselves over God’s people to control, coerce or manipulate them for seemingly godly purposes which are really their own.”
VanVonderen adds:
“Nothing about spiritual abuse is simple. Those who have experienced it know it is powerful enough to cause them to question their relationship with God, indeed, the very existence of God. And it is subtle too! The perpetrators of spiritual abuse are rarely ‘Snidely Whiplash’ sorts of characters who announce that they are going to drain your spiritual energy. They may be people who seem like they are seeking to guide you to the deepest levels of spiritual maturity.”
Biblical evidence: While the term “spiritual abuse” does not occur in the Bible (nor does the word “Trinity,” for that matter), the concept is clearly alluded to. Primary biblical citations which discuss spiritual abuse include Ezekiel 34:1-10; Matthew 20:25; 23:1-33; Luke 22:24-27; and 1 Peter 5:3. Each of these passages involves God condemning leaders who mistreat the people under their care in order to promote their own welfare or ideology.
Ten Major Symptoms of Spiritual Abuse:
1.) Salvation Redefined – Spiritually abusive ministries continually redefine salvation. This keeps the bar moving higher and higher so that followers must stay dependent on the Ten Symptoms of Spiritual Abuseintercession, wisdom, and power of the leader. Healthy leaders, on the other hand, communicate a clear biblical gospel of salvation by grace through faith. God’s plan of salvation never changes.
2.) Deification of Leaders – While few spiritually abusive leaders overtly claim divinity, in practice they act as if they are godlike. For example, the leader may say that he or she speaks for God, that God works exclusively through his or her ministry, or that followers can please God by pleasing the leader. Healthy leaders, however, avoid putting themselves in the place of God.
3.) Exhaustion – Spiritually abusive ministries exhaust their followers through high commitment and endless demands on time and service. If you always feel exhausted after church—or if your church life seems one continuous demand on your time with never a chance to rest—you may live in a spiritually abusive system. Healthy churches and leaders understand the need for rest and personal time. After all, even God rested on the seventh day.
4.) “Sacrificial” Giving – Spiritually abusive ministries regularly call for sacrificial giving of time, talents, and treasure. The Bible knows little of this. Instead, the New Testament calls for generous and cheerful giving (2 Cor 8 and 9). While God does sometimes call us to give sacrificially, this is between us and the Holy Spirit. For example, the Philippians gave sacrificially and amazed even the Apostle Paul. But no person can demand such sacrifice, and certainly not on an ongoing basis. Healthy churches teach biblical giving which is based on generosity and freewill, not coercion or guilt.
5.) Transactional Giving – Spiritually abusive ministries correlate the giving of your time and money with physical or spiritual blessing. The more you give—or the more dedicated you are to the ministry—the more blessed you will be. This is a works-based system of salvation and sanctification. Healthy ministries focus on transformational giving which is simply a byproduct of thankfulness and faith.
6.) Abuse of Special Revelation – Spiritually abusive leaders often claim to have special insight into the will of God for you and your family. Rather than sharing such “special” revelation and giving you freedom to decide whether the Spirit spoke it or not, Spiritual Abuse and Special Revelationsuch leaders demand that you obey their pronouncements. Healthy leaders, on the other hand, may also sometimes receive special revelation from the Spirit, but they communicate such “words” from the Lord with humility, qualification, and room for doubt. They allow you to respond—and even disagree—rather than forcing you to obey. And such “words” never benefit the leader financially or in regard to gaining power over you.
7.) Perfectionism – Spiritually abusive ministries may have a mentality which demands full sanctification from members in order to prove that they are saved. This may masquerade as a focus on bearing spiritual fruit, becoming mature in the faith, or living sanctified lives. In reality, such leaders want to control the people underneath them, and the easiest way to do this is to point out their sins (or supposed sins) and show how worthless and hopeless they are. This keeps people dependent on the intercession and teaching of the leader. Healthy leaders, on the other hand, recognize the role of grace in salvation and understand that all believers are sinners in need of mercy, patience, and understanding. We all wear checkered garments on the way to glory.
8.) Shaming – Spiritually abusive ministries often publicly shame their followers. Leaders in such groups misuse confidential information and share it widely in order to humiliate people. Or they bad-mouth people who have left the group. This maintains an atmosphere of fear, degradation, and disempowerment. Healthy leaders, however, maintain confidences, encourage the weak, and empower people under their care toward maturity and joy in Christ.
9.) Exclusivity – Spiritually abusive ministries denigrate other Christian leaders or churches. They claim that they alone have the truth, that they alone practice biblical Christianity, or that they alone have access to God’s will and pleasure. Whether this is Exclusivity of Spiritually Abusive Churchesstated explicitly or remains implicit, followers understand that to leave the group is to fall out of grace or to become a friend of the world. Conversely, healthy leaders rejoice that God is working all over the world. They try to see the best in other groups and Christian leaders, even when they must sometimes speak words of discernment or correction about them. Followers are empowered to understand that the Holy Spirit works variously in other situations and cultures and that he doesn’t make clones.
10.) Punishment – Spiritually abusive groups use church discipline passages as an excuse to punish current members or to shun ex-members. They use church discipline to keep people in line, to quell disagreement (which they call “rebellion”), and as a threat against critical thinking (which they call “pride”). They also overreact to small sins or minor behavioral issues and bring the full weight of church discipline against people who actually just need time to mature. Leaders of these groups misunderstand the purpose of church discipline, which is restorative, not punitive. Spiritually abusive groups also misinterpret the warning passages in the book of Hebrews—they claim that people who leave their select group have left the faith. In contrast, healthy leaders use church discipline only in serious matters of major unrepentant sin. And they understand that the goal of such corrective measures is restoration, not punishment.
Conclusion:
If you read this checklist and discover that it applies to your church or group, you likely live in a spiritually abusive system. God has better things for you. Consider what steps you might take to disengage from the abusive group and plug into a healthy system full of grace and truth.

Friday, August 11, 2017

I want to help you

Hi everyone!

I have an extensive video collection that may help some people. I don't share them all of the blog. Truthfully, I'm not yet bold enough to share a lot of them.. However, if you are struggling in any of the following areas, please message me and I will send you some videos and links that may help you.
Any conversations will be kept 100 percent confidential, and I would never betray anyone's trust.

Topics:
Spiritual Abuse ( a topic that I have studied extensively)
Depression
Demonic Torment ( I have experienced this, but Jesus has shown me many things. He gives us authority to cast them out! Testimony coming soon!)
False doctrines
Money in the Church
Biblical models for church
Getting closer to Jesus
Struggles with sin of any sort
True and counterfeit moves of God, true and false miracles (Yes, Satan can counterfeit) For details, just ask.
There are more, but if you would like me to send you vids on a topic, please let me know.

Love,
Rachelle

Are you Crippled by Fear and Anxiety? Part 2

Crippled by Fear and Anxiety? My Testimony Part 1

How To Start A Ministry

A long time ago, I watched a YouTube video, entitled "How to Start a Ministry." The premise was beautiful. If you want to start a ministry, take half of the food out of your own pantry and give it to someone in need. Take some of your clothes, and clothe the naked,

I think that many people believe that ministry requires some sort of "special" calling. I think that is a lie. The Bible says that "we are one in Christ Jesus." In Corinthians 12, we are told that we are all part of a Body of Believers, and we are told that we have a role in the Body of Christ. We are told that Christ is the Head of the Church, and that we are equally important. 

We do not need an honorific title to share the good news of Jesus. The Great Commission is not something reserved for the important church leaders. Have you been told lately that YOU are an important member of the Body of Christ? Are you using your gifts to serve others? Or have you become passive in your walk, going to service once a week and relying on your "works" to try to appease God. The Bible says that God is a jealous God. He loves and wants you. If Christ is living in you, then you have a light living inside you. 

Matthew 5:14-16

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
You don't need anyone's permission to start a ministry. Jesus already told you to shine your light. He told us in His Word that you are important. He tells us to share the good news with others. He tells to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the sick, pray for others, visit those in prison. He tells us to care for the orphan and the widow. These things aren't hard to do. There are homeless shelters in your community. Food banks. There are suffering people all around, and if you ask Christ to open your eyes to them, He will. There are widows at the nursing home, and even in our families. 
I'm not preaching to anyone. Actually, I'm writing to myself at this point because I often fail in these areas.
What did Jesus do Before He started His ministry? 
Before Jesus began His ministry, He went to the desert. He fasted, and He prayed. He didn't rush off to a Bible college. He didn't need to be educated. "He confounds the Wise and reveals Himself to Children."
Jesus didn't do any of those things. His ways are not OUR ways. Instead, He gave His life to the Father's will, went into the desert, fasted, and prayed. 
The Bible says that "His (God's )power is made perfect in our Weakness
If you truly want to start an effective ministry, you have to be willing to go to the desert. You have to be willing to be made weak, giving your own life to the Will of the Father. 
That is how you start a ministry. 
There is a lot of darkness out there. There are children that are being bullied and taking their own lives. There is drug, alcohol, and pornography addiction. I could go on and on. The truth is that the world NEEDS your light. And, as Christians, we have the authority to use the name of Jesus to cast out demons (darkness) (More about my testimony on that, later)
You are an important member of the Body of Christ. Now, Go.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

He Confounds the Wise and Reveals Himself to Children

A few years ago, I was in a very deep relationship with Jesus. He was showing me so many things. I began studying. I began researching. I began to question a lot of what I had believed about the way that church is done. I began to consider myself "wise."

It was then that Jesus spoke a verse into my Spirit, "He confounds the wise, and reveals Himself to children."

I immediately realized how wrong I had been. The sin of pride had crept in my heart because I thought I was, in some way, "special".

Imagine the brevity of that verse, "He confounds the Wise, and reveals Himself to children."

The Pharisees, the religious leaders of Jesus' day, were considered wise. Many people looked to them for guidance. They were honored and revered. The Bible says that they wore fancy clothes and loved to be greeted in the marketplace. They said loud prayers and loved attention. They faithfully attended every religious service. They adhered to each and every religious requirement. However, the Bible says

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.


There is another verse in the Bible that says that many people were bringing children to Jesus. The disciples tried to stop them, but Jesus said, 

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Here, we learn that Bible knowledge and leadership are NOT a prerequisite for entering the Kingdom of Heaven, but those willing to have the faith and love of a child. Those, willing to put their trust in a loving Father.

He reveals Himself to Children. We must become, as children.
Have we allowed Him to restore our innocence? Are we trusting Him as a child would trust a loving Father? Are we clouded by the pride of our religious knowledge? Have we become as Pharisees with cold hearts toward our brothers and sisters, and "the least of these?"

Jesus came to show us that His ways are not our ways. He demonstrated true leadership by washing the feet of His disciples. Do our leaders look like Jesus or are they simply, wise? Jesus longs to lead us. The Spirit longs to teach us. He is our Shepherd.

Just some food for thought.
He loves us.
Seek Him and you will find.

Pagan Christianity: Book Review

Please note that I wrote this post about 4 years ago. I never shared it because I was too afraid. I don't think that it is wrong to question the way things are done. The Bible says to study to "show thyself approved," and "To test everything against the Word of God, and yet often we go about life, not really questioning or asking questions. We often accept everything we hear as truth,because we respect those in leadership positions. 

The Book, Pagan Christianity, is NOT an attack on Christians. It is simply a book that challenges us to ask deeper questions. What did "church" look like in the Bible? 

My purpose in reviewing this book is NOT to attack the institutionalized church or it's members, only to try to point others to Christ. All too often, I see people both in and out of churches who do not have a relationship with Jesus. Many have left the church because of spiritual abuse. Many of these people do not have a relationship with Jesus because of the hurt that they have experienced. This book would be a breath of fresh air to such people. 

Many others have attended church for all of their lives, yet do not have a relationship with Jesus. They simply rely on their "works" for salvation. This book will challenge such people. 

Here is the post:

This week I read a book, entitled, "Pagan Christianity." The authors, Frank Viola and George Barnes, set out to find out the roots of our church practices.  How much of what we are doing in "church" is even in the Bible? How much of what we are doing is based upon human tradition?

What they found is that many of the things that we deem as normal or customary actually evolved from pagan practices.

These men were not, in any way, promoting a witch hunt that attacked the institualized church. They simply wanted to find out why church was no longer a sense of community with Christ as the Head. They asked the question why the "church" is often associated with brick and mortar when Christ said that the "church" was comprised of 'living stones' not made by human hands.

They sought to look through history to find out how the model for church in the Book of Acts, in which there was a Christ centered community, has become what it today.

Did you know that 80 percent of people are leaving the instiutionalized church? The truth is that people are craving a true relationship with Christ and many people simply cannot find Him represented in His truest form while sitting on a padded pew.

The truth is that we are called to be more than what we have become..Through the centuries, we have lost our sense of community, and our focus has shifted away from Christ.
We are designed for more.
How much of our routines and practices are truly found or even rooted in the Bible?

The men had some startling conclusions. I am going to write extensively on their findings in my upcoming posts.

Here is the blurb from the book:

"are we really doing church by the book? Why does the pastor preach a sermon at every service? Why do church services seem so similar every week? Why does the congregation sit passively in pews?

Not sure?  This book makes an unsettling proposal. Most of what present day Christians do in church each Sunday is rooted, not in the New Testament, but in pagan culture and rituals developed long after the death of the apostles. Authors Frank Viola and George Barna support their thesis with compelling historical evidence and extensive footnotes that document the origins of our modern Christian church practices.

In the process, the authors uncover the problems that emerge when the chuch functions more like a business organization than the living organism it was created to be. As you reconsider Christ's revolutionary plan for His church - to be the head of a fully functioning body in which all believers play an active role - you'll be challenged to decide whether you can ever do church the same way again.


according to Barnes and Viola,j the signs of a healthy organic church are:

  • the building together of sisters and brothers into a close-knit, Christ-centered community
  • the transformation of character in the lives of the members
  • meetings that express and reveal Jesus Christ and in which every member functions and shares
  • community life that is vibrant, thriving, authentic, and where members grow to love one another more and more
  • a community of believers who are magnificently obsessed with their Lord, and who are neither legalistic nor libertine in their lifestyle
the signs of an unhealthy organic church are similar to the problems the apostle Paul pointed out to the church in Corinth
  • a perversion of the grace of God to be a license to sin
  • a sectarian and elitist attitude
  • self-centeredness among members

Interesting verses that point out what the original church in the Book of Acts looks like

  • The early church met in homes for their regular church meetings (Acts 20:20, Romans 16:3,5 , 1 Corinthians 16:19
  • They took the Lord's Supper as a full meal ( 1 Corinthians 11:21-34)
  • Their church gatherings were open and particapatory (1 Cor. 14-16, Hebrews 10:24-25)
  • Spiritual gifts were employed by each member (1 Corinthians 12-14)
  • They genuinely saw themselves as family and acted accordingly (Galatians 6:10, 1 Timothy 5:1-2, Romans 12:5, Romans 12:13
  • They had a plurality of elders to oversee the community (Acts 20:17, 28-29, 1 Timothy 1:5-7)
  • They were established and aided by itenerant apostolic workers (Acts 13-21; all of the apostolic letters)
  • They were fully united and did not denominate themselves into separate organizations in the same city (Acts 8:1, 13:1, 18:22; Romans 16:1, 1 Thessolonians 1:1)
  • They did not use honorific titles (Matthew 23:8-12)
  • They did not organize themselves heirachically (Matthew 20:25-28, Luke 22:25-26


quotes and ideas from the book

" The "church" building is so connected with the idea of church that we unconsciously equate the two. Just listen to the vocabulary of the the average Christian today:
 Wow honey, did you see that beautiful church we just passed? My goodness! That is the largest church I have ever seen! I wonder what the electric costs to keep it going?" Or how about the vocabulary of the average pastor: "Isn't it wonderful to be in the house of God today?" "We must show reverence when we come into the sanctuary of the Lord."

Ancient Judaism was centered on three elements: the Temple, the priesthood, and the sacrifice. When Jesus came, He ended all three, fulfilling them in Himself. He is the temple who embodies a new house made of living stones- "without hands." He is the priest who has established a new priesthood. And He is the perfect and finished sacrifice. Consequently, the Temple, the professional priesthood, and the sacrifice of Judaism all passed away with the coming of Jesus Christ. Christ is the fulfillment and he reality of it all.

In Greco-Roman paganism, these three elements were also present: Pagans had their temples,their priests, and their sacrifices. It was only the Christians who did away with all of these elements. It can be rightly said that Christianity was the first non-temple based religion ever to emerge. In the minds of the early Christians, the people - not the architecture- created a sacred space. The early Christians understood that they themselves-corporately-were the temple of God and the house of God.
(1 corinthians 3:16, Galatians 6:10, Ephesians 2:20-22, Hebrews 3:5-6, 1 Timothy 3:15, 1 Peter 2:5, 4:17)

Nowhere in the New Testament can we find the terms church (ekklesia) temple, or house of God, used to refer to a building.

The church edifice demands a vast infusion of money. IN the US alone, real estate owned by institutional churches today is worth over $230 billion. Church building debt, service, and maintenance consumes about 18 percent of the 50 to 60 billion tithed to churches annually. Point: Contemporary Christians are spending an astronomical amount of money on their buildings. We so easily forget that the early Christians turned the world upside down without them (see Acts 17:6) They grew rapidly for three hundred years with out the help ( or hindrance) of church buildings.


* an especially interesting chapter deals with money in the church..once you read this chapter you will NEVER be the same!

In Sum, this book changed the way that I think. It is considered controversial because it cause us to question the way that things are done. If you want your world to be shaken, then I highly recommend this book.
If not, then this book is not for you. 





Wednesday, August 9, 2017

In Case You Needed To Be Reminded.

The other day, I was praying and asked Jesus if He still loved me. I told Him that I desperately needed to be reminded. A few days, later I got a card in the mail from a dear friend of mine.

Here are the exact words: God loves you. He thought you needed a little reminder.

So, in case you were wondering and asking the same question...
He loves you.
He is proud of you.

The Bee Miracle

Our house has been plagued with bees over the course of the past few years. First, they were on one side of the house. Then, they moved to the other side of the house. Each time, i would have them removed. At times, I have paid to have them removed and other times, friends and family would come and remove the hive. This has happened about three times. They have stung me in the head multiple times, and even in the stomach.
Last time they were removed, my dad and a friend of ours got at least 50 bee stings between the both of them. It was brutal, ya'll.

Then, peace. Alas, the bees were gone. I managed about 6 months without the threat of bees.

And then one day, I looked and there they were...again. At least a dozen or more swarming,building a nest.

When I saw them, I said a small prayer, "Jesus please send them away. I don't want to deal them, I just want them to go." Truthfully, I wasn't sure if I was expecting Jesus to answer that prayer, but the next day I went outside and the bees were gone.

All of them. My logical mind wanted to explain away the bee's disappearance by something scientific. And even though I'm all about the science, I have seen so much of Jesus, His Power, and the Supernatual that I have to take the Word of God at face value.

Anyhow, as I was looking at my bee-less house, Jesus whispered a verse into my spirit,

"If you have faith the size of a grain of mustard, you can say to this mountain move, and it shall be moved."Matthew 17:20

I sat there in awe.

Jesus is calling us to greater faith. He says to ask and we shall receive. He hears us. He longs for a closer relationship with us. If we ask and seek Him, He will answer.

He loves us.

Gossip-y Women

"They Honor Me With Their Lips, But Their Hearts are Far From Me"

Several years ago I was at a religious function. I accidentally overheard a few ladies in the next room talking very negatively about another person. I think that person was me. Truthfully, I'm not bothered by it anymore, but lately I've been remembering. Tonight, however, I'm going to lay it down and just pray for them. Even Jesus said to bless those who curse you and to love those who spitefully use you.

Jesus said that there would be many who would misrepresent Him. He told us that there would be many who would "have a form of godliness" but would deny the power, thereof.  I've seen it time and time again. Sometimes, I wonder if people actually read their Bibles or seek to know Jesus at all. We live in an age where it is acceptable for people to cheat on their wives and then cart the family off to church on Sunday.

"a form of godliness"

what does that even mean? It means that many people will look religious but will lack the love of Jesus. I know that I'm not perfect. I struggle. I lose my patience, at times. But if there is one thing I do know, it is this

1. Our religion won't save us. (One whose religion is pure is one who cares for orphans and widows)
2.  Our politics won't save us."Give back to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's. Mark 12:17
3. Our leaders won't save us. (The Lord is My Shepherd, but that is another story for a different day)
4. Our good works and religious appearance won't save us (even the Pharisees had that going for them)
5.Pastor Tim, Ted, Tony, or Travis won't save us. (Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12)
5. Our churches won't save us. "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. Acts 17:24

We are only saved and redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. He longs to work in our hearts to transform us. Are we letting Him in? Or are we content with our "forms of godliness"
Are we denying the power thereof? The power is the Cross and it's ability to transform our lives into the image of Jesus.
Are we seeking Him? Or are we content to just hear a message once a week and call it good? Jesus is real, and He longs to work in our lives. He longs to make us into His image. He longs to give us "beauty for ashes"

He loves us.

Once again, I know that I am not perfect, but I am learning to lean of Jesus and when I feel the desire to speak against others or when I am tempted to act in hatred, I just have to give it to Him and He takes it from me. He will do the same for you.

And that is all.

for now.

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, loveyour enemies and pray for those who persecute you,45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.

Taming the Tongue
1Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
3When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.11Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.